Tuesday, 20 March 2012

KC stands firm on vet checks

KC Chairman Steve Dean has responded to the furore surrounding the vet checks at Crufts - saying he feels sorry for those exhibitors who were disqualified. But he defends the principle of veterinary scrutiny and states that the checks will continue "for the foreseeable future."

Professor Dean also hints that breed standards may need to be re-written by asking: "...can we continue to accept ‘some haw showing’ or descriptors in breed standards that suggest triangular shaped eyes? These are all divergent from the normal eyelid that dogs need to maintain good ocular health."

In a statement released this afternoon to Dog World (see it in full here) , Prof Dean congratulates the nine breeds that passed the vet checks but argues that the vet checks are necessary to ensure that dogs with clinical problems resulting from exaggerated conformation issues are not rewarded. 
"...the fact that nine breeds passed the checks and that in the main, the concerns highlighted in those that failed were not linked to problems relating to lameness, skin disorders or respiratory distress, must be a reason for congratulation.  It is recognised that even the breeds that failed have made huge strides forward in recent years and this progress needs to continue particularly in relation to externally visible eye disease.

Prof Dean explains that the breeds came to be highlighted following the 1995 European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals which "listed some 30 breeds detailing deleterious conditions which, it claimed, if not addressed could warrant action to prevent further breeding. The KC considered the list and reduced it to 14 breeds in line with available evidence in the UK. The Chinese Crested was added later because of concerns that cosmetic shaving or hair removal was causing skin damage."

Actually, this isn't quite right - 1995 was when specific mention was added of specific breeds of particular concern but the European Conventon itself dates from 1987 (and in fact has been signed and ratified by 22 countries - but not the UK due in part to obbying by the KC).

And while it was, indeed, the UK Government's interest in the Convention  that in 2002  triggered the KC into founding their Breed Health and Welfare Strategy Group (now called the Dog Health Group), there were only 10 breeds on the KC list until March 2008. 

Those 10 breeds were the Bloodhound, Bulldog, Clumber Spaniel, Chow Chow, Dogue de Bordeaux, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, St Bernard and Shar pei. The German Shepherd and Basset Hound were added in March 2008; the pug after it was highlighted in Pedigree Dogs Exposed and the Crestie a little later after I, and others, highlighted the problems associated with the wholescale denuding of dogs (using razors and depilatory cremes) that were not "true" hairless in order to win in the show-ring.

Prof Dean points out that part of the rationale for the vet checks was that ringside observers appointed by the KC to monitor judges consistently score dogs lower  in terms of health and welfare than do judges, and that a system of voluntary veterinary referral - introduced three years ago - had not worked as well as hoped.

In response to accusations that singling out 15 breeds is unfair and discriminatory, Prof Dean explains:
"In short the risk to health is greater for the 15 listed breeds but breeds can be added to the list if a case is made that health and welfare is significantly compromised by exaggerated conformation."

 Other points made by Professor Dean include:

• that the presence of ectropion or entropion on its own was not sufficient reason for disqualification - there had to be accompanying pathology - either curent inflammation or evidence of chronic damage.

• it was agreed in advance that a pen torch could be used if the light in the examination room was insufficient. In the event, one was used only on the first day, after which lighting was improved in the examination room.  

• no other diagnostic tools were used and it has been agreed that, in future, lighting will be sufficient to negate the need for a pen torch.

Challenging reports that BOB winners were rushed away from the ring and had to travel some distance to be examined, Prof Dean insists:

•  an examination area was provided in each of the four halls at Crufts to minimise the distance any BOB need travel

•  stewards were instructed to wait for the BOB to complete their post judging celebrations before acompanying dog and handler to the veterinary check area.

Prof Dean also defends the appointment of independent vets, pointing out that it was done to avoid any charges of partisanship, and he praises the two vets that did the checks:

"Both are general practitioners with background experience of either veterinary duties at championship dog shows or with some historical experience of breeding and showing dogs. They are reasonable, sensible, experienced vets and I have every confidence that they followed their brief accurately and that their conclusions were valid."

In conclusion,  Professor Dean says:

"It is very regrettable that we need to use a veterinary check before the BOB award can be confirmed at championship level and I feel very sorry for those whose dogs failed the check. However, it is important to realise that 15 high-profile breeds do have conformational exaggerations that have led to avoidable conditions causing pain or discomfort and this has to be unacceptable to all of us.
"Much work has been done by the breeds to move away from these exaggerations and in a remarkably short time. As the KC, we have to provide the right framework to ensure dogs win at shows because they are typical of their breed and have good health. The veterinary check is just part of that framework and if breeders, exhibitors and judges play a full part, then the veterinary check should be a simple confirmatory procedure that could be dispensed with within a decade. However, we must recognise that some breeds will struggle with the veterinary check for some time to come. 

Dog health campaigners will be delighted that the KC is standing firm - although disappointed to hear that there are no plans to demand health certificates or health test results covering inherited disease as a condition of entry at dog shows.

So there it is. A bit of a face-palm moment for the newly formed Canine Alliance which is demanding the immediate suspension of the vet checks - and, indeed, I see their leader Andrew Brace tonight is calling for the CC winners in Chinese Cresteds, Pekes and Pugs to "put principles before prizes" and refuse to challenge for Best of Breed at the next big champ show - UK Toy Dog at Staffordshire County Showground on March 31st.

Now that I can't wait to see.

The Canine Alliane's Facebook site - and connected satellite sites - are in the meantime proving a much better spectator sport than watching dogs trot round a show-ring, with whole threads being censored, people being banned and accusations and counter-accusations threatening to de-rail the whole shebang before it gets off the ground.

See for yourself here.


  1. "KC Chairman Steve Dean has responded to the furore surrounding the vet checks at Crufts - saying he feels sorry for those exhibitors who were disqualified. But he defends the principle of veterinary scrutiny and states that the checks will continue "for the foreseeable future.""
    What a hypocrite. Mr Dean should pick a side and stay on it.

  2. Gees, "The Canine Alliane's (sic) Facebook site - and connected satellite sites - are in the meantime proving a much better spectator sport than watching dogs trot round a show-ring, with whole threads being censored, people being banned and accusations and counter-accusations...." yada yada.

    Pot, meet kettle! What a goon you are Jemima. Dumb as a stump sometimes. Been a long time since you looked in a mirror, eh?!

    1. I really find no reason for anyone to make personal attacks---and to hide behind Anon.

      Keep your comments factual, please!!

    2. Isn't it funny how people on here moan if someone else has the cheek to be a smart ass yet for months Jemima has published Heather H's vile comments that often belittle and are sarcastic and not even in a funny way but in a general this person is revolting way!

  3. A pretty firm , cool and comprehensive statement by Steve Dean. He took his time to reply and covers everything. Worth reading carefully from beginning to end. Only problem is that some of the internet rabble with the attention span of a gnat will have difficulty reading beyond the first paragraph. Glad he makes it clear that the initiative on breeds with exaggerations that harm their health and welfare goes back to the European Convention of 1987, that the KC had started to take action on 10 breeds BEFORE PDE, so in no way was the introduction of vet checks simply a knee jerk reaction to either of the PDE films

    The Canine Alliance's facebook pages are not doing their cause any good. Poorly managed and moderated, people who want to join being turned away, or removed after joining , for no apparent reason, posts being deleted, or whole threads removed. If the Canine Alliance want to show they really are a democratic, transparent , grass roots movement in the dog world , they could start with their Facebook groups which should be open groups with no censorship of views as long as they are not offensive, over aggressive or defamatory. Better moderators are needed, also some better ordering of content - keeping the main page to the point, guiding some debate on serious and immediate issues ,as Andrew Brace has been trying to do, and relegating the silly and trivial stuff to the other chat group. Better managed , the main Canine Alliance Facebook page could be a good place for some intelligent and well informed debate

    1. I believe that you join through this page - http://www.facebook.com/groups/346236658750734/


    2. Breeds were added as a result. Part of the concern is that this becomes a witch hunt. You can suggest changes and people are often very open to then making changes, especially when they see the advantage in health, but when you begin to dictate changes, then as each "change" is affected, then you see the organization for change move on to the next level. This is why unaffected breeders cannot simply stand back and allow this.

  4. Well done Steve Dean for another balanced reply on the Vet Check issue. Personally I see his as a great step forward and only repeat my call for Vet Checks to all BOB winners at Championship shows. There were going to be teething issues and some unhapy punters.....but it's all about healthy dogs. Don't all dog people from mutt owners in the park to champion breeders want that?

  5. Good suggestion here, the Canine Alliance is a misnomer, it should be called the Exhibitor's Alliance


  6. I believe he has answered the critics points well and I hope he will continue with this conviction. Hopefully he is hearing from the pet-owning public that we support his attempts to adapt the dog-world for the betterment of our dogs :)

    I was in the group and the frequent cries of 'Animal Rights' was worrying and upsetting :(

    We are not willing to accept the health issues arising from current breed standards & breeding practices, but we are not extremists, we just want a better future for our dogs (the dogs we bought from 'professional' breeders who are now suffering)

    I was also very sad to hear Mr Brace's interview with dog world stating "we want a kennel club that cares about us" ...what about the dogs? :(

    I hope the good breeders who do not agree with Mr Brace will speak out and support Prof Dean's efforts to bring change.

    1. a Kennel Club that cares about the people who produce the animals that support the Kennel Club is exactly where the club should stand.. without the PEOPLE the KC will not exist.so far dogs cannot pay taxes, buy groceries or run their own lives. right Jemima?.. that is also EXACTLY what the "long run" goal of this blog and all animal rights goals are.. to destroy the pedigreed dog and the eugenicists that run it as pointed out in PDE where the KC was vilified and libeled.
      All of this nicey nicey backhanded praise is in reality another ploy.. I suggest that everyone her stop breeding dogs at all. and never show a dog agsin.. let the non pedigreed and less careful breeders taek over and see just how happy you becoem.. after all the blogger owns only one eldety pediggreed dgos and is more than happy to own just "rescue" dogs.. so all that follow her should feel the same way.. why waste your time breeding purpose bred dogs when you can get one on any street corner that is purported to be "happier and healthier" than any pedigreed animals.
      Slouching toward Bethlehem comes to mind

  7. They seem to forget that they are not in a bubble where everything they do only exists in the show world .
    The majority of dogs they breed are sold to pet owners. How many other businesses can ignore their customers & produce inferior products ?

    1. That's one of the problems with dog exhibitors, they see themselves as "THE dog world" , reality is they represent only a tiny percentage, and many of them appear to live on another planet. The dogs shown at Crufts are less than 0.25 % of the estimated dog population in the UK. One reason why it would really alarm me, if control of the Kennel Club was taken over by show dog exhibitors and top show judges. Of course they should have a voice at the KC, but I dont want to see a KC run by and for show exhibitors. The AKC is much too far down that road already, they lost most of their working gundog breeds decades back to other registries like American Field. Genetically a disaster when the show and working dogs of the same breed are in different registries

    2. That "bubble effect" has been striking to me as well. My background is in genetics, so my concern with the issues facing purebred dogs grew from reading peer reviewed papers over the years. I have to admit that when I saw the first PDE documentary, as upsetting as I knew it would seem to the viewing public, I knew what was shown was just a small glimpse at the problems facing dogs. It did give me hope that it would give the push needed to take what I and others like me knew, and move it from the scientific community into more widespread public awareness. My own personal conversations with fellow dog owners made me believe that ordinary pet dog owners were ready to hear this. They were, after all, the ones paying the vet bills and burying dogs at younger ages.

      The timing of the new documentary had it coming on the heels of a controversy here in the States about a winning Rough Collie bred using a double-merle sire. Because I write a blog about color genetics - officially horses, but it occasionally veers off into other animals, particularly dogs - that topic came up. The discussion that ensued carried over onto my personal facebook page, which is where a friend wrote a comment that I think really sums up the feelings of many rank-and-file dog owners. It was in response to the charge that critics just "hate purebred dogs." I will post it here (with permission):

      "Here's another thing that is important to point out: we who are outraged and disgusted, for the most part, *are purebred dog owners*. We aren't just bystanders commenting on a Broadway play. We are the base of the triangle that supports and allows this to happen. We buy the dogs that don't make it in the shows. We buy the six pups in the litter that are rejected by the breeder in order to get their one show dog. We adopt the shelter dogs who are dumped by the first buyer who got a purebred that had a disease, malformation or personality trait that the didn't expect, couldn't deal with, or couldn't afford to medicate. We nurture the dogs that are thrown away, all along the process. If breeders create dogs that are so flawed that they can no longer be good pets, there will not be a population to shuffle those dogs off to. Their business model will be unsustainable, their customers will disappear. These animals have a real and lasting impact on people's lives, the people who love then for themselves and not for what prestige they bring. It's a two way street. No, it isn't hate, it is... Rejection. Which should tell the breeders where they have crossed the line."

      It is sad that some breeders have responded to this feeling on the part of pet owners by insisting that the speakers are "Animal Rights" activists. This only serves to make the show community seem paranoid and out-of-touch. We have been told for decades now that to be "responsible" pet owners, these are the people we are to trust. If we really care about dogs, these are the people that should be our source. Behavior like this, and what is being witnessed on the Canine Alliance FB page undermines this. And make no mistake, with 6000+ readers there are pet owners who are there just trying to make sense of the situation. How many are being moved to the emotion my friend described - Rejection? And where will that rejection leave the dog showing community?

    3. That's one of the problems with dog exhibitors, they see themselves as "THE dog world" , reality is they represent only a tiny percentage

      I am so glad you finally acknoledge this, yes we are a tiny percentage and we also produce a small amount of the dogs actually produced in this country.
      Its time it was accepted that unecthical breeding isn't just a problem in the show world fraternity, you go look on gum tree and epupz and so many for sale on their are from people wanting flossy to experience motherhood just once, most of the breeders i know would be too ashamed to be associated with websites like these.

    4. "That's one of the problems with dog exhibitors, they see themselves as "THE dog world" , reality is they represent only a tiny percentage"

      At last! Someone who acknowledges that the 'show world' is responsible for only a tiny fraction of the puppies born each year. The vast majority are produced by puppy farmers and people who either want a litter from their family pet "because it'd be nice for the kiddies" or who want to have a few litters to fund the extension or the holiday. These are the ones who never health test, and are the ones that vets see most often because of it. Yet once again they're being kept happily out of the glare of the spotlight, and can continue their trade with impunity.

    5. Make your minds up PDE targeted the dog show world and the KC and when now those people respond you accuse them of living in a bubble ? if they are not responsible for pedigree dogs then why target them ?

  8. I am an exhibitor. I breed usually one litter per bitch and spend years choosing the sire. Most pups are placed with other exhibitors who I know well. Maybe one pup per litter is given or sold at a reasonable price to a well vetted show home. My dogs are not products and I certainly don't consider the people I chose to give them forever homes as customers.

    1. and here in lies the problem.. while we all laud this person and applaud the noble goals of"producing less puppies and placing them is wonderful homes".. that will not support a business model written about in the above post.
      All of that "dogs that are thrown away" and "dogs that are rejected" is animal rights nonsense..I would bet that 90% of the breeders on CA breed very few dogs compared to the whole dog breeding "business" in the UK and that you would be hard pressed to find a single one in a shelter.. but the AR's continue to spread the propaganda.. along with this blog..and because nothing sells like bad news the public laps it up faster than a cat at a dairy. I will give the AR's one thing.. they started the ball rolling and now they are sitting back and watching it explode and dancing with glee. In 10 years all dogs will be:
      VERY expensive, only the wealthy will be able to claim dog "guardianship"
      Poorly bred because when the KC goes under there will be only "legislation" to control dog breeding so most will be underground or commercial because no home breeder will be able to meet government regulations.
      Rare.. due to complexity and expense of doing something that was once a fun and enjoyable hobby

      BOO HOO I was "rejected'.. get over yourselves for Petes sake. How many times does a breeder hear this?

      "I just want a pet.. do you have a dog that does not meet your standards or that has a flaw that I can have for less money" "
      These dogs are not "shuffled off".. not by a long shot.. many of the best dogs in a litter are sold to people who also want to have some fun showing and certainly are needed to continue the breeding programs of some and create new programs for themselves if that is their interest..many are sold to people who do "just want a pet".. is there something wrong with that? If you think there is then by all means DO NOT BUY A PEDIGREED DOG.. go to the shelter and get a dog of unknown origin.. with unknown health factors and unknown personality traits.. then when it turns out to be unhealthy or have a dicey temperament you have no one to "blame" but yourself..but I have no doubts that people like the above poster will ALWAYS find someone else to blame about everything in their lives.

    2. Oh yes because only puppyfarmed dogs end up in rescue right. I've got two pedigree rescue dogs here and both where from show breeders originally.....

      1 other was bought from a show breeder as a pup and is the worst I have ever owned health wise ( the breeder only ever asked if she could have surgery so she could be shown again.they have never asked if the dog was actually ok ! )

      I am not an animal rights activist, I am a pet owner who used to be entranced by the show scene & wanted to be part of it until I saw how a very large percentage of the show scene operate behind the scenes. No animal rights activist has influenced me , they didnt need to. crappy show breeders with their lies and keeping their dogs stacked in crates in urine soaked houses did the job for them.

  9. http://ackcsc.org/dr-hendricks-response.html

    how much money did your favorite animals rights group give to research to improve the health of dogs? how much did the blogger give from her proceeds ? Seems that in the USA most of the money and input comes from GASP.. dog BREEDERS and the AKC.. wow what a concept. please read this link by the Dean of veterinary medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

    1. You mean the same AKC in the same USA that has stated it will never allow the health checks to be introduced? Whats the point in giving all their money to research and improve the health of their dogs when they are not actually interested in health?
      Give me a break...its all about the outward appearance of the breeder doing the 'right' thing and not at all about the real health of the dog.

      And no I am not an animal rights activist.
      I do however think while its important to remember that any dog can get an illness or a disease there ARE certain breeds that get illnesses and diseases more than most and that IS a problem. Surely thats not hard to admit?
      I also think that every dog has the right to healthy eyes with no 'haw', a tail that can be used to properly communicate with other canines - not one that is curled over there back which also creates health problems with the spine, a proper muzzle - not one that is pushed into the face, a dog that can really breathe properly - I am aware many bulldog/pug owners have come out with their videos/photos of their dogs running around/playing but even that doesnt come close to a proper muzzle, GSDs who dont look like they are trying to sit all the time. I mean come on.

      Of course itll be hard for a drastic change to occur whilst the dogs physical appearance is the most important factor.

    2. Speaking of money, did the AKC give money to the University of Pennsylvania? Of course they did! So much for an independent opinion.

      This is the same AKC who won't ask the US bulldog club to change its breed standard despite the fact that the British breed club did so a couple of years ago. So don't trust the AKC to do anything substantial on this. They've still got their head in the sand.

    3. I don't give money to AR groups for the same reason I don't give money to the AKC: I don't support groups that do nothing useful for dog health and welfare.

      I have a serious problem with those breeders who breed deliberately/knowningly (or at least who should know better) for ill-health and deformity, within closed registries, and who then try to claim innocence because they fund research into dog health. Research which generally concludes that those breeding practices should be changed, but we can ignore that bit right?

      A breeder who breeds for health, temperament and function overall, and who actually follows the damn health research (could be by avoiding doubling-up of genes and extreme appearances, minimising cancer-promoting genetic loss, breeding for function and longevity, outcrossing etc), would be someone anyone here can support.

      Funnily enough those don't tend to be the breeders protesting health checks and whinging about 'The AR Menace'. Go figure.

    4. Bestuvall wrote: "...please read this link by the Dean of veterinary medicine at the University of Pennsylvania"

      That'll be the Dean whose Deanship is sponsored by one Gilbert S Khan, yes?


      Now that is not to say that Mr Khan wasn't a wonderful generous person who cared deeply about dogs. Or that the Dean of Penn Vet School isn't great at her job.

      But I prefer my academics free of such monetary encumbrances.


    5. almost all "academia' is funded by wealthy people and to point this out is pretty low.. but what can you expect? Just what "encumbrances' are you suggesting? Are you suggesting that this vet would compromise her position for money? and it is not just her deanship.. it is an ongoing deanship.. you are petty and rude to even suggest such a thing
      "Not to suggest"?/ really you are a yellow journalist of the worst kind.. insinuations and backhanded comments can get you in a heap of trouble.
      Do you also eschew sponsorship of your own program? HSUS has many well funded programs by private sponsorship.. do you also prefer your associations with them to free of "monetary encumbrances" or suggest that the monies given to them are some how tainted?

    6. Money buys all kinds of things, Bestuvall, and of course you know it. It's why pet food manufacturers have tie ins with vet schools and why scientists are expected to declare their interests when publishing their research. Also why one vet school here in the UK told me they wouldn't take part in PDE because they were anxious it might jeapardise KC funding of research.

      I imagine you would think it relevant if this blog was funded by HSUS; after all you were first in the queue to suggest that I am tainted because I attended the Washington conference co-sponsored by the HSUS last year.

      As you know, HSUS did not pay me but they did cover my flight and my hotel bill - and they fed and watered me for three days. Very small beer compared to the kind of money it takes to maintain a Deanship. Now HSUS put no overt pressure on me. But nevertheless it made it tough to criticise them which is why it took me a few weeks to blog that I thought they should butt out of the dog-breeding business.

      I don't want to feel like that. It's why I accept no advertising on this blog.

      Both PDEs were commissioned by the BBC which is a public service broadcaster. The programmes were not sponsored.

      As for Penn Vet School, in my opinion, a decision was made to back the supply of money rather the truth and despite the claim of support of academic freedom, the person who spoke out nearly lost his job over it. I understand; times are hard. But I don't have to like it.

    7. Accoring to the Kennel Club health report, the Kennel Club in the UK is the largest contributor to canine genetic reasearch in the UK.


    8. Good. To be more accurate, its people like me who provide the money that the KC are able to give to canine genetic research. Makes me feel better about paying for my affix and ABS fees, and registrations..... last year's litter of 12 puppies (from healthy parents) cost around £276 in registration fees and copies of pedigrees. From memory, the KC's revenue from registration services is roughly double what it actually costs them to run those services. But I'm only too happy if some of the profits from registering my puppies goes to canine genetic research

    9. and what 'truth" would that be?

      Follow the money is usually correct I will give you that.
      So who did "co sponsor" the event? I can only find one sponsor.. the HSUS.

      Well do you not get paid at all for anything? no one gives you money? In the USA even PBS is sponsored in a huge part by wealthy donors AND large corporations. The BBC has a monopoly on television in the UK.. that is not an acceptable situation in the USA. We do not collect fees from all citizens that dare to own a television. Although we do have pay TV it is your choice to subscribe and local channels are free.
      I am amazed that a journalist would not be able to suss out the agenda of an animal rights groups before accepting a paid speaking engagement. It is hardly "volunteering" when your expenses are covered..

    10. Counter point...

  10. That is a good point. Jemima - How much of your proceeds from all your efforts with PDE do you donate to veterinary research?

    1. Why is that a good point?
      Lets say she donates nothing - does that excuse all the inherited illnesses and conformation problems in breeds? No. It doesn't.

  11. 30,000 puppies are exported to the UK from puppy farms in Ireland.How many of these poor wee things end up in rescue?
    This is the REAL disgrace!

  12. I am a dog show exhibitor My favourite thing to do is go to a dog show. I love every moment of it and so dose my dog. She spends her days getting muddy in a field and sitting on the sofa and the day before the show , I give her a good groom and get her show bag ready , her tail starts to wag as she knows we are off to a show. However. I too hate to see some of the breeds at dog shows. Some breeds are so exaggerated they don't look like dogs to me. And I would be quite happy not to see them at the show. The KC has to do something or theses breeds will get worse and if they do, then the dog show world could end for us all. I don't want to pay the price for the exaggerated breeds, buy losing my days out at a dog show. But I do want to see real dogs and healthy breeds at every show being shown off by there loving owners and making there breeders proud.

    1. Nice post. I guess you are a young exhibitor? . Enjoy your dog shows, there is nothing wrong with dog shows if you can breed and show healthy, fit , unexaggerated dogs, who enjoy what you do with them. And if you are reading this blog, you will learn that there are plenty more people who agree with most of what Jemima says and DONT have a problem with breeding pedigree dogs or showing them. Who are definitely not AR supporters, who also enjoy country sports with their dogs, and who support what the KC is trying to do to promote the better health and welfare of all dogs (even if they are a bit hamfisted at times)
      Good luck to you!

  13. Okay what comes to mind here is Hitler trying to breed the perfect race of Humans grow up you will never get a perfect dog just like you will never get a perfect human. Should we tell humans not to breed now because they have genetic mutations causing all sorts of disease or worse Lets put all deformed mutated children to sleep at birth. Why don't you lot go get a life seriously!

    1. Big difference...breeders are DELIBERATELY causing suffering to these animals by DELIBERATELY breeding them to be more likely to have a hereditary illness or by breeding them to have conformation problems.
      You bet those breeders shouldnt be doing that!
      Not many people deliberately try and create a deformed child.
      Grow up and stop trying to deflect from the real problem.

    2. Okay so those who deliberately have a child to provide an organ to save a sibling are not producing gentically engineered children for a purpose seriously they are animals used for testing medical products get in touch with reality animals serve a purpose! If a dog dies to save a child r u going to kill that child in revenge you are fanatical IDIOTS! GROW UP!

    3. Anon @ 6:02 AM, this post is so nonsensical I don't even know what point of view you're trying to get across. So because animals are used for medical research, those of us who care about their welfare are idiots? Really now, is that your argument? Pot meet kettle.

  14. What a sickening lot these Show types are showing themselves up to be, one poison pen after another condeming those who show concern and compassion for the wellbeing of DOGS of being "activists" for gods sake!. I am not an Animal Rights activist but these scurrilous comments from the Show world people(?) are making me feel that perhaps I ought to be. What the hell is wrong with thinking that dogs/animals should have the right to a happy, healthy life free of inbred deformity?

    All power to your pen Jemimma please keep on stimulating them into showing their true colours so vividly to ordinary pet lovers such as myself, as the uncaring, unfeeling Shower of .. they are. And alright, there is a broader field with regard to puppy farming to be addressed in the future when all breeders in the Show World have sorted their kennels out and become role models of good breeding to aspire to.

    Three cheers also to KC Chairman Steve Dean for defending and supporting the principle of vetinary scrutiny and potential rewriting of the breed standards. Long overduein my book!

  15. I am a parent of a junior handler. My child not only shows our breed (not one of the 15) but works that breed in the field too. My dogs are dual purpose. One is from a "pet" breeder and has had 6 operations in his 5 years for everything from Cancer to dual teeth. The other is from a show breeder albeit a dual purpose one who health tested and that dog is fine. Both are pedigreed and both KC registered. We have just bred our first litter,from the show breeder bitch, all puppies had homes booked pre birth. We did all health tests and screening, as did the stud dog owners. We have a contract of sale and all puppies come back to us if they need re-homed. Please therefore don't tar everyone with the same brush. We care about our dogs. NONE will end up in ANY shelter. They are like our own children. All this name calling re breeders affects not only the seasoned breeder but the younger generation. What is better? A responsible young member of society that can be educated or the disillusioned youngster who gives up the love of their life? Please consider your comments and the effect it has on the next generation.

    1. I can appreciate your concern. Don't you think however it's just as important for children to recognize they can do what is right and stand up for what they believe both through actions and words. If you are doing the right thing and campaigning within a group for change, does this mean everyone else should be quiet and condone the general group attitude if negative?

      You can look at this as negative and teach your child criticism is wrong. The alternative is to look at this and teach your child to be open to criticism where justified. To be able to step back and see if there are things that need changing even in a closed group to which they belong. Not to bow down to peer pressure. Lets face it, health tests are great but people are not talking about this as an issue.

      Have a look at this letter to the 1962 Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1583599/pdf/vetsci00073-0026.pdf

      One of the key points:
      "There is no suggestion that dog breeders and exhibitors of pedigree dogs are deliberately dishonest. Their worst faults are ignorance and a disinclination to face up to unpleasant facts."

      50 years ago... do you want your child to continue this "tradition"?

  16. It is so very sad that a) people who want change are being viewed as "animal rights" extremists and b) that they think we only care about show-bred dogs.

    On our website we look to address irresponsible breeding in ALL formats and yes some 'professional breeders' can be just as irresponsible as BYB & puppy farmers, but they are not the only ones and we all recognise that.

    In Scotland an independent breed rescue rehomes many, many dogs bought directly from 'kennel of the year' awarded breeders. The fact is the largest % of dogs coming through their doors originate from "professional" breeders who are highly regarded within the show world, but obviously breed quite a volume of dogs :( I don't know how indicative this is of other breeds throughout the UK but I think the lines are so blurred that all irresponsible breeding should be viewed as one issue & tackled as such. Whether its KC assured, byb or puppy farmer...if its irresponsible breeding it should be addresses equally.

    I photographed a poster on Discover Dogs Boxer stand it states (amongst other things) "Boxers do not need to be hip scored, as in other breeds" This is advice being given by the 'pros'.

    Yet the BVA hip scoring of Boxers gives a mean score of 16 (GSD score 19) Whilst some of this may be neo-natal & environmental factors, if breeders aren't hip scoring how can you be sure ? Hopefully the use of Estimated Breed Values will answer this question in time, it seems to me that in the meantime it would be responsible to hip score. So why isn't it being done routinely or recommended by the breed club?

    In many European countries it is compulsory to test for HD and yet our pros deny a need for the test :( I applaud any breeders who do it voluntarily for their boxers, in the UK, and who share the results with breeders & pet buyers.

    This sort of denial of a problem is breaking the public trust in breeders :( which devastates me because the good breeders need supporting so we can stamp out puppy farming....but when it becomes so hard to recognise a 'good breeder' - who prioritises health & fitness for function - how can the public become 'responsible buyers'?

    How are the public meant to make informed decisions and be responsible buyers when this type of information is being given out by the 'professionals'?

    We needed transparency , we need education, we need change and we need a central health database allowing health reporting from the public! All the health checks, research, statistics in one place....

  17. I read through the entire statement. Did he address the issue of disqualifying dogs based on what can (and, from the sounds of it, has) turn out to be an old injury, such as with the bulldog?

    I support the health checks, but I don't support humiliating good breeders and owners publicly by saying their dog failed a health check. Any dog can run into a thorn and have traces of it later in life.

    Has anyone heard this issue discussed? I couldn't find any mention of this issue in the statement, and I think some people would be greatly mollified if they felt this were being addressed as a problem.

    1. It would be a great start if people who claimed they were unfairly treated released the vet check report to see what they were actually failed for. The KC and vet in question aren't allowed.

    2. Agree with Anon 1:39 - I would be more inclined to be sympathetic to the concern of "old eye injury" if the vet report was made public. The KC and independent vets have said that they will not release them, its up to the owner. SO why haven't the owners shown them?

  18. I too get fed up with the spite and nastiness directed towards those who dare to enjoy antering dog shows. Remember most of us don't reach the dizzy heights of ch.sh. BOB/group wins. Many of us don't even breed dogs but just show as a hobby and a way to meet others who love our breeds. Dogs shows encompass dogs of all standards from the humble Companion Show upwards.The continual griping and obsession with shows takes away from the real point which is the breeding of healthier dogs. Only a very very tiny percentage of dogs are shown and what happens in the show ring has zilch to do with the mass production of poorly bred puppies from non health tested parents. The crux of the matter with regard to show dogs is'nt that they're health tested before being shown but rather that, whatever they win, none of their progeny can be registered unless they pass all relevant health tests before mating.

    1. I love to attend a dog show, I get very happy and proud if a dog I breed is BOB.

      BUT I despise two things:
      1: When you have to breed unhealthy dogs to be able to win.
      2: When a dog can't live a normal life because it is a show dog.

      One of my breed is Swedish Vallhund, and a beautiful dog of this breed has been BIS on Swedens larges shows and I'm absolutly thrilled about that. So I don't dislike dog show or people who attend to dog shows, on the contrary, I love dog shows. I just very much dislike what some people do to dogs in the name of "dog shows"

    2. I think we need balance here, I show my dogs, they live a happy healthy life just like any other dog, good food, exercise, companionship from me and friends, they have regular annual eye tests and any other health test that is needed. I don't breed often and make sure my pups get good loving homes, nothing exceptional here, I'm the same as hundreds of other people who own, show and breed their dogs now and again. So, how about doing a programme about all those good breeders, it is unfair to 'tar all with the same brush'

  19. And what about other countries who still cut ears and tails off there show dogs. whos stopping them? at least in the UK they dont do that anymore. compeared to other countries our show dogs are far better off.

    1. So because they are better off we should ignore the fact that they are not as healthy as they could be? That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. How about 'that child is in an awful home environment but because hes better off than a child in a third world country we will leave him where he is.'
      Absolutely ridiculous.
      An unhealthy animal is an unhealthy animal no matter where it is.

    2. Clearly you have no idea about the state of some social services departments in the UK !

    3. So just because its happening that makes it right?!
      Goodness me..you sound like one of those people who truly only cares for themselves, as long as it doesnt effect you its fine.
      I want dogs to be as healthy as they can be...not simply healthier than others but still with problems themselves.

  20. The Mission Statement of the new Canine Alliance states: "Its aims are to protect and support the well-being of pedigree dogs, to uphold the ethics of responsible dog breeding, to encourage health checking of all dogs and to allow the exhibition of pedigree dogs without bias or discrimination."

    Obviously the singling out of fifteen breeds for physical appearance genetic disorders was discriminatory, since other breeds, like the cavalier, have serious genetic disorders which do not show up on the skin surface.

    I have a suggestion as to how the Canine Alliance can "encourage health checking of all dogs and to allow the exhibition of pedigree dogs without bias or discrimination." It is to follow the lead of the CKCSC,USA, which has an official "health & conformation" class in all of its conformation shows. The definition of that class is:

    "Health & Conformation: Dogs 5 years of age and older with an OFA certificate that shows and OFA registry number and states that the dog has no evidence of hip displaysia after 2 years of age and is certified clear within 1 year of the postmark closing date for that show of the following diseases: 1) Heart – by a board certified cardiologist; 2) Patellar Luxation – by a licensed veterinarian or via an OFA patella certificate; 3) Eyes – by CERF or by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist’s exam sheet indicating that eyes are “normal”. Copies of the 4 certificates must accompany the entry form for any dog entering this class."

    Following that lead, every breed could have it's own set of health tests which all entries would be required to have passed in order to compete. That would be the ultimate way "to encourage health checking of all dogs and to allow the exhibition of pedigree dogs without bias or discrimination." --- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

  21. Given the mentality of many exhibitors, they will do anything to get another title. How about a new Sh and Health Ch title, the usual 3 CCs plus all relevant health testing for the breed plus certification that the dog is free from other non DNA testable things like epilepsy, bloat, heart disease, skin/ear/eye problems etc ,plus a vet check to say the dog is fit, sound and free from any exaggerations, able to breathe and move freely, and has normal dentition?
    I suspect that if breeding healthy dogs became as competitive as showing dogs, there would be less resistance to it. Personally I dont like the idea that people would only breed healthy dogs if they get rewarded for it, but on the other hand , if thats what it takes, then why not?

  22. I agree with Heather. That dog may not meet the bd standard, but that kind of back is healthy and strong.

    It occurs to me that there are less extreme bulldogs showing, but the judges don't seem to be choosing them; instead they go for the extreme as being the most typey. This is easily changed by nullifying the judges' choices when the dog is burdened by its extremity. Changing the judges' choices toward more sound individuals is the quickest way to change what breeders breed for.

    Back when I showed Basenjis, the judges check of the teeth body, and gait was supposed to be testing for soundness --what happened?

  23. eek. This is on the wrong thread. I meant it to go on the bulldog thread, but got confused when I tried to post, because it insisted I had illegal characters in my name and I had to start from scratch.